Peak Performer: Katie Bourland
music therapist, Create Art Residence
Katie was a Peak Performer recipient for the fourth quarter of 2022 (July-September). Below is her nomination letter.
Katie passionately shares her musical talent in a variety of patient programming and staff initiatives. She works with our Recording Studio producer to write and sing songs specifically aligning with the heartbeat recordings of some of our tiniest patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Her melodic voice, the lyrics, and underlying heartbeat create meaningful legacy recordings for our families that support their emotional needs. As well, she used her voice and talent to help produce and star in a music video about programming in the Child Life Zone; spending hours going above and beyond to help make it the huge success that it turned out to be. Katie is a triple threat musician who can write songs, sing and play instruments, and dance. She wrote and sang an original song about our very own Child Life Zone recorded and edited by our broadcast studio staff. She managed to find the time outside of patient care to carefully write catchy lyrics and a beautiful mix of music and melodies to help showcase this space for patients and their families. She, along with many members of the Child Life Department, worked hard to put all of the pieces together to create an incredible video! Her dedication and passion to each person and project she faces is evident when you see her in action!
One of Katie's clinical areas to work is the NICU, which entails working with very fragile infants, supporting them developmentally with music-based interventions. Katie provided her services to hold space for both grief and sweet memories to a room full of staff who were bedside with a long-term patient who was rapidly declining. While another staff person held the baby, Katie softly sang and played the guitar, creating a sacred and peaceful space for the baby, as well as the staff. It takes an extremely special and courageous person to stand in that moment and know they have the capacity to bring peace and wash away pain through the power of their music. Katie's presence, voice, and music kept the room calm and peaceful during an otherwise tumultuous and challenging time for all who had cared for this patient. Her presence in that space was transformative.